PREFACE The "graying of America" proceeds at a rapid pace. The post-World War II baby boom generation, comprising 1 out of every 3 people in the United States, is now at middle age. One out of every 4 Americans is already 50 years of age or older. By the year 2025, 64 million Americans will be 65 years of age or older. We are finally beginning to come to grips with the implications of the burgeoning population of older people. Our increasing longevity and the need for understanding its ramifications have also resulted in considerable scientific research, especially during the last four decades. The demand has grown on college and university campuses for courses that focus their attention on the broad period of adulthood. Exploring the development of an individual's career, marriage, family life, and psychological functioning as he or she is affected by a rapidly changing society have become vital issues. The objective of this textbook is to encourage the student to consider the phenomenon of adult development and aging from a behavioral point of view in a readable but comprehensive and scientifically well-documented manner. We introduce current theory and research on the major psychological issues, and we provide background on those social and biological aspects of development that are essential to understanding behavioral age changes. We continue to believe that the study of adult development is best served by using a combined chronological and topical approach that we have consistently used in previous editions and the sequence of presentation first introduced in the third edition has been retained.Adult Development and Aging,fifth edition begins with an introductory chapter that sets the stage for our study. This chapter examines demographic changes in our society and the current state of research in the field. To provide an overview, we next consider the broad issues of adult development in three chronological chapters: young adulthood, middle age, and late life. We then provide a research methods chapter that focuses on the quasi-experimental methods prominent in the study of development, and also provides a brief exposition of relevant experimental designs. Our experience in teaching earlier editions of the text suggested that students were often overwhelmed when research methods were introduced in the first chapter before some substantive material was covered. The methodology chapter is now placed at the point where that material seems to be needed for a proper understanding of the topical chapters that follow. The topical chapters are placed roughly in the life-stage order at which particular developmental processes become most salient. First, we consider topics that are important in young adulthood: families, gender issues, and careers. The gender issues chapter comes immediately after the family chapter because issues first raised under the rubric of the family are considered further in the chapter on men and women. The second group of topics consists of personality development, motivation, learning and memory, and intellectual development, areas in which age changes become important as people move from midlife into old age. The final three chapters cover lifelong processes that become most salient in old age: biological aging, mental disorders associated with old age, and bereavement. The material that we cover in the topical chapters, however, is not limited just to the life stage within which it happens to be particularly relevant. The flow of human lives can not be segmented that easily. Initial career choices, for example, may be of paramount importance to young adults, but matters relating to career development permeate much of adulthood. Although our chapter on careers is placed early in the book, it also includes material on occupational development in middle age, career reevaluation, change in later life, and the retirement experience. WhSherry L. Willis is the author of 'Adult Development and Aging (5th Edition)', published 2001 under ISBN 9780130894397 and ISBN 0130894397.